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Proceedings and Debates of the 1967 Constitutional Convention
Volume 104, Volume 1, Debates 460   View pdf image (33K)
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very simple amendment. All it is designed
to do is to substitute the word "representa-
tives" for "delegates", where it appears in
Article III of the Constitution.
The amendment came before the Com-
mittee on the Legislative Branch and failed
for want of a majority by a 10-10 vote.
The amendment is based on three simple
factors, one of which has been amply testi-
fied to here yesterday, by not only the bi-
cameralists, but by the unicameralists and
the Chairman of the Legislative Branch
Committee. It is based on the fact that we
have to devise methods and ways to raise
the visibility of the legislative branch of
the government.
One of the things that I have experi-
enced, and I do not know whether that ex-
perience is shared by other members, is the
fact that people are generally confused,
especially the new people that move into
the State, are generally confused as to
which branch of the government a mem-
ber of the House of Delegates really be-
longs to.
I know, of course, that the House of
Delegates has a long meaning to the natu-
ral born and native born residents of this
State, but when we take a look at the word
"delegate", a delegate goes to a convocation
or a convention or some other assembly
with a specific mission. He is not going
there as a representative. He is going there
under restrictions, with a specific job to do.
He is not a representative. To this extent
the designation "House of Delegates" is a
misnomer and misleading.
When we look at what the lower house
of the legislature is called in the other
fifty-nine states, excluding, of course Ne-
braska, which has a unicameral legislature,
we find most of the states designating their
lower house as the House of Representa-
tives. Three states call the house the
"House of Delegates", and those three are
Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia, and
one designates the house as the Assembly.
I do think that while we are at this busi-
ness of trying to strengthen the legislature,
trying to clarify what the Legislative
Branch should or should not do, in the
minds of the people this amendment would
serve a very salutary purpose. The argu-
ment was raised in Committee that this
would be confusing with respect to the
federal House of Representatives so that
people would generally be uncertain as to
whether an individual actually served in a
lower house in the State legislature or
served in a lower house of the United
States Congress.
I might say that that confusion appar-
ently does not exist with respect to the
Senate, because of course, our Senate is
called the Senate in the State as well as
the United States Senate. I do not think
any further explanation of the amendment
is necessary. I hope it will pass, though I
do not think the whole strength of the
Legislative Article is going to rest on
whether it does or does not pass, but I do
think it is a worthy amendment.
THE CHAIRMAN: Delegate Gallagher.
man and members of the Committee, I rise
to speak against the proposed amendment
which would substitute "House of Repre-
sentatives" for "House of Delegates" in
section 3.10.
The sponsor of the amendment, Mr.
Gleason, is correct in that on two occa-
sions the Committee tied 10 to 10 on the
vote as to whether or not the amendment
would be accepted in Committee. Since it
failed to receive a majority of 11, it was
not a Committee recommendation.
I think it is significant that in the Con-
stitution of 1776 the Article creating the
Legislative Branch stated that "the legis-
lature shall consist of two distinct branches,
a Senate and a House of Delegates, which
shall be styled the General Assembly of
Maryland." The Constitution of 1851 said,
"the legislature shall consist of two dis-
tinct branches, a Senate and a House of
Delegates, which shall be styled the Gen-
eral Assembly of Maryland." The Consti-
tution of 1864 said, "the legislature shall
consist of two branches, the Senate and the
House of Delegates" and likewise the Con-
stitution of 1867, under which we presently
An examination of the nomenclature used
during the colonial period would also indi-
cate that Maryland has been consistent in
referring to its lower chamber as the House
of Delegates.
In this respect we probably differ some-
what from the State of Virginia, which at
one time applied the name, the House of
Burgesses, and later changed it to the
House of Delegates.
I would say, therefore, that I oppose this
amendment, first, because the nomenclature
has been a part of the fabric of our state
government since colonial times down to
this day.
1 further believe that it would be diffi-
cult from the point of view of examining

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Proceedings and Debates of the 1967 Constitutional Convention
Volume 104, Volume 1, Debates 460   View pdf image (33K)
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